Written By Alex Macey on behalf of another.

Title of post chosen by the subject of this article.

I have been made aware of a very troubling email communication sent to an individual, who has contacted a number of others, myself included, highlighting some issues within the gambling industry. Whilst the emails have been fairly constant, I can assert that they have never been threatening in nature, to the best of my knowledge. I haven’t been able to read all of the emails due to my workload. The individual sent me a response to one of his emails which is from Steven Donoughue and is extremely alarming. I must point out that other than through minimal email communications, I do not know the person in question. Neither do I know Mr. Donoughue. I have never met him and it is very unlikely that I ever would meet him. I do suspect that the person concerned may have some mental health problems, in which case, the response he received makes it perhaps all the more troubling.

It is worth remembering that I too receive a number of emails from many people (as many of us do). I often get cc’d into conversations and I often do not respond. Interestingly, I was cc’d into another email that was sent to Mr. Donoughue a couple of months back from a very interesting person that had some very prominent roles within the UK banking sector in the past. This individual was communicating via email to Mr. Donoughue to highlight some suspected criminal behaviour by a well known betting firm in the UK. The circumstances of the case were relayed to me and although I did not see the full evidence described to me, I can confirm that as a former police officer, there were grounds to suspect that deliberate fraudulent activity had occurred against the individual by the gambling company in question. I am led to believe that the circumstances of the case has been provided to The Gambling Commission, who initially attempted to brush it under the carpet.

Naturally, as a former detective, I paid some interest to this email chain between the individual and Mr. Donoughue as I would have thought that disclosure to him of a suspected criminal act by a major gambling company would be acknowledged or at the very least some vague interest and vague advice would have been given. After all, he has a prominent role within the gambling industry and is part of a powerful group of individuals that are out to protect the gambling industry. The fact that the group exists is fair, since the All Party Parliamentary Group led by MP Carolyn Harris and Lord Duncan Smith acts on behalf of individuals that have been harmed by gambling. However, this person’s concerns were ignored and instead, Mr. Donoughue informed the individual to stop contacting him. Believing that Mr. Donoughue should be acknowledging the case, he phoned Mr. Donoughue in an attempt to relay the facts to him so he could point him in the direction as to how the matter could be looked into. Instead, the phone was put down on him.

Gamvisory quoted Mr. Donoughue recently when he stated that, ‘The biggest killer (to the gambling industry) will be affordability.’ Mr. Donoughue is a consultant to the gambling industry so this sort of comment would be expected. However, Mr. Donaghue is also Secretariat to the recently formed industry-focussed Parliamentary All Party Betting and Gaming Group (not to be confused with the APPG into Gambling Related Harm). Lord Donoughue, Steven’s father, is the secretary of the group.

Whilst I can confirm the volume of the emails sent by the individual in question is at times excessive, it is also perhaps easy to comprehend that the writer may suffer from some mental health issues. In fairness to Mr. Donoughue, he politely asked to be removed from the emails and also probably correctly informed the individual that should the emails persist then he would request the police are informed about a potential offence of harassment. I myself informed the individual to be careful in this respect also, prior to this. I believe Mr. Donoughue also wrote to him, stating that he suspected that the individual may suffer from some mental health issues, clearly an acknowledgment that the person may indeed be potentially quite vulnerable.

However, what is clear is that the individual is a passionate person that seeks to expose wrongdoings within the gambling industry. The fact that by doing so on such a persistent basis and not being as articulate as others, doesn’t make him any less worthy of being listened to than anyone else. Each disordered gambler (I do not believe this individual is himself) that is either still in the thick fog of gambling or has come out of the other side, has suffered from mental health issues, me included. I have always tried to be an empathetic person and treated people with respect throughout my life and career as a police officer but telling it how it is about certain wrongs that occur from people or organisations is not to be confused with a lack of empathy as I always try and back this approach with evidence.

So, judge for yourself how you feel that Mr. Donoughue acted towards this individual and indeed the aforementioned individual. The relatively few people that have seen the content of the below email are quite naturally shocked and lost for words, espeically when putting into context the prominence Mr. Donoughue has within the gambling and political world.

Gamvisory is a platform for people to speak their minds and publish evidence as they see fit. I have written this on behalf of an individual that cannot necessarily articulate this himself. As a former police officer, a former sufferer of mental health issues and someone that has dealt with a multitude of wrongdoings, both personally towards me and within my previous career, the behaviour below is quite abhorrent, exacerbated by Mr. Donoughue’s status where such behaviour is absolutely inexcusable.

From: Enquiries <enquiries@apbgg.org>

Date: Fri, Jun 5, 2020 at 5:14 PM

Subject: We will prosecute you and you will go to jail for harrassment

To: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

And on a personal note

Should our paths ever meet

I will rip your head off and shit down your throat

You mental case

Steve Donoughue MBA

Secretariat

Parliamentary All-Party Betting & Gaming Group

www.apbgg.org

T: 0782 432 4334